Meet Matthew J. Burgess

Matthew Burgess teaching in NYC Public Schools

Matthew Burgess is an Assistant Professor at Brooklyn College. He is the author of a poetry collection, Slippers for Elsewhere (UpSet Press, 2014), a children’s book, Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings (Enchanted Lion Books, 2015), and he recently edited Dream Closet: Meditations on Childhood Space (Secretary Press, 2016). Burgess has been a poet-in-residence in New York City public schools since 2001, and is a contributing editor of Teachers & Writers Magazine. He received an MFA in Poetry from Brooklyn College and a PhD in Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center.

Our theme this spring is inspired by Matthew’s lesson plan for “in Just-” – a perfect poem for the season and for our community, which is just around the corner from e. e. cumming’s childhood home. We hope it will inspire new writers or new ways of looking at previous writings. Please know that all poems will be accepted.

Enormous Smallness has been named one of the Best Children’s Books of 2015″ by The Washington PostThe Boston Globe, and The Huffington PostMinneapolis Public Radio calls Enormous Smallness one of the year’s Best Books to Give (And Get), The Wall Street Journalcalls it a “biographical standout for 2015, and Booklist features it on their Lasting Connections 2015. Perhaps most amazingly, Maria Popova of Brain Pickings includes Enormous Smallness on her list of “The Best 15 Books of 2015.”

Thanks to Matthew J. Burgess for his time in reviewing submissions and collaborating on this project. His enthusiasm for poetry and our youth is the stuff of hope. I am so grateful to know him and have an opportunity to introduce him to my community.